We're on the last station at the Open in Minnesota, shooting the Prelim. A fur and feather, right to left, downhill. Confident, I scored a convincing, no doubt about it 8. As we all examined our scorecards I see a 5 on this field. The error was an honest one with my score being placed on another persons score card. It took less than a minute to sort it out and make the proper changes.
If you've shot with me, you know my consistent policy about this. Well, obviously, almost consistent. Stepping into the box, I make it a policy to confirm that the scorekeeper has my card under the pen. Station-by-station, I was doing this at the Prelim right up to the last field. The error may have been his but the consequences would have been mine alone.
Scorekeepers have earned their good reputation. But they are under tremendous pressure to get it right. As competitors, we need to remember that they also get hot, tired and understandably distracted. That assumes some vigilance, and responsibility on our part.
I learned this the hard way. Years ago at a large tournament in Georgia I found myself looking at a score well below what I knew I had shot. Examining the card showed one field with a score of zero—nada—8 0's. I remembered the field and had dropped only 1 target. Which counted for what at that moment? Two hours back, when I stepped off that field without protest, that zero was official.